The Swedish research foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond has granted PhD Gerald Roche funding for his project Assimilation beyond the State: The Double Exposure of Tibet's Linguistic Minorities.
The aim of Dr. Gerald Roche's project is to investigate what happens when political states and ethnic nations conduct simultaneous assimilation projects on one minority population. Whereas current theories of assimilation focus on the state, in an increasingly interconnected world, minority populations are now frequently subject to multiple homogenizing forces. There are no theoretical models that adequately address this issue. This project will fill this theoretical gap through an empirical study of the assimilation of Tibet's linguistic minorities. The theoretical model thus developed will be of relevance to other situations where minorities are exposed to multiple assimilationist pressures. The project's theoretical model adjusts O'Brien and Leichenko's (2000) concept of double exposure, originally created as a framework for analyzing the simultaneous impacts of climate change and economic globalization. This study will examine the double exposure of a linguistic minority group on the Tibetan Plateau to state-sponsored modernization and Tibetan ethno-nationalism. The research project aims to investigate the discourses and ideologies behind these modernization and nationalist projects, and describe the experience and outcomes of intersecting modernizing and nationalist projects on a linguistic minority community on the Tibetan Plateau. Research will combine textual discourse analysis with ethnographic fieldwork.
Gerald Roche is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Hugo Valentin Centre.